January 24, 2015

Addicted to Connection. {Poem}

QThomas Bower/Flickr

I’ve been teaching yoga in prisons for a couple of years now.

The authenticity one encounters behind the walls is unlike much of the outside world.

They generally don’t hide their emotions behind a carefully-crafted veil.

What you see is what you get.

I love every minute of it and share my heart and struggles willingly. I feel more at home communicating about the stuff of life there than I do at our local pub.

I often ask myself why this is and realize that my true self, the Scorpio who enjoys diving deep into the muck of what makes us such beautifully flawed humans, is met with resistance at many of my social gatherings.

I have always been enamored with the stories of Jesus choosing to hang with the sinners of his time, the outcasts. I contemplate being a bit of an outcast, choosing to live a life in accordance with a combination of Christ-centered and yogic sensibilities.

I’m addicted to connection—real, heart to heart, transformative encounters.

I believe we are all looking for a way to fill the void, that fear of being alone, dying alone. Some of us get addicted to drugs, alcohol, shopping, gambling and sex in our attempts.

Something shifts in me when I look in their eyes and say to myself,

“I am you and you are me.”

But I can’t honestly avoid the cynic in me entirely. I still wonder how much of my service is self-serving and unpure. I wonder what addictions and svadhyaya (self-study) shadows I remain blind to.

And since Jesus said,

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  

I am addicted to yoking with breath to the Son of Man’s wisdom.

At least that’s my hope.

Connected and Addicted

yogi tears

and the sound of ujjayi breath

conferring ecstatic silence

behind prison walls

that smell like home

and maybe urine

to practice

and preach

human connection


taking up my own cross

embracing my own



asana led in the halfway house

only to find

the weekend sluts

and the greedy druggie

look like me

mirror gazing

at the inner


the one jesus loved


so they sit

in lotus

all satisfied


a woman

chin in hand

she knows more than she’ll ever understand

getting high, drunk and horny

each night

it’s the same


and each morning we salute the sun

praying to a god

who might crucify our minds

and prostitute our loss

making us weak


with repetition

and a fistful of





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Author: Anita Brown

Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: Q Thomas Bower/flickr

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